Since I knew Halloween was coming up, I asked a friend earlier this week to recommend a horror film on Netflix. He quickly responded with “the best horror movie on Netflix:” “Grave Encounters.”
The movie, supposedly based on true events, follows a camera crew, similar to that in “Ghost Hunters,” who decide to do an episode on a supposedly haunted, abandoned mental institution.
While the story sounds intriguing, it follows the classic 21st century horror movie plot.
The camera, not surprisingly, is handheld and shaky, nearly giving me a headache. Also in true horror movie fashion, nothing happens within the first 45 minutes of the movie.
As the film develops and the horror begins, the crewmembers decide, in classic “Scooby Doo”-fashion, that it would be a great idea to split up. One by one, they begin disappearing.
One thing interesting about the movie that I haven’t seen in another is that once it turns night, somehow the characters become locked in time and after 36 hours, darkness hasn’t let up. However, this sense of time isn’t believable and the characters don’t seem to wear out or worry too much.
The actors, all unknown, didn’t make me believe that any of the scary things was happening to them at all. Not to mention the “host” was more annoying than Ty Pennington.
My friend told me it was his favorite was because the story was so believable. While many of the characters do things that stay true to ghost-hunting-type television shows, such as bribing people to say they’ve seen a ghost or felt something move, the actual acting by the actors leaves things lacking.
The movie leaves out actual ghosts for a large majority of the movie. Much like the “Paranormal Activity” series, the ghosts remain invisible and simply leave a shadow or lift a girl’s hair, without ever being seen.
One thing the movie does well, however, is creating terrifying ghosts, once they show themselves. There’s not too much gore, but their eyes and mouths are black voids that, in the scene of a run-down mental institution, make you jump and creep you out.
The ending is very unexpected too, and I won’t give it away, but it’s definitely one for all of you psychology majors out there. The movie explores early practices in mental institutions and brain development.
The location of the missing characters is never revealed, and by the end of the movie it is still the endless night. It leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
Lucky for us, “Grave Encounters 2” is on Netflix as well, though after the first movie, I probably won’t be watching it.